2016 US Windsurfing Nationals

Corpus Christi - TEXAS
May 11 - 14

I was very Lucky to be able to flight there as Lyrah drove the car from California to Texas with her sister Ytala Taking all my gear.
We all arrived on Saturday late afternoon so this left me a few days before the competition to practice. We stayed at the Emerald Beach Hotel which was very conveniently located, about a mile from the race site.
Sunday - Started well with 20 to 25 miles per hour winds.
Guy Miller was there and we decided to go out on Formula first.  I rigged up a 9.2 Severne  as it was quite windy  about 20 miles per hour. We had a good session, beating up to a permanent mark in the middle of the bay. It was nice of Guy Miller to share with me the local secrets.
The wind kept picking up so I changed down to a 8.6 Gaastra I was quite comfortable on the 8.6, it was a good size for the conditions. I had to pay attention not to hit the rays, they were floating just bellow the surface and they were big enough to cause some damage, as it happened going downwind I hit one and catapulted.  The sun was getting low at that point and the glitter on the waves prevented me from seeing what was in the water. At the end of the day I went out briefly with the Isonic 87 and 6.4 Gaastra as the sun was going down. It was nice to zip around on Slalom kit after a good Formula session.
Monday - Started just as well as Sunday, with winds around 25 miles per hour. Again I met wit Guy Miller and we decided to go straight for the Slalom Kit this time. I rigged up a 5.8 Gaastra on the Isonic 87. We did some long reaches all the way to the middle of the bay. That was a lot of fun!! The Isonic was easy to handle on the short chop. Later on I changed down to 5.8 Gaastra and I was quite happy with it. We had a long session that day. It was great to tune up with Guy.
Tuesday - Was the last day before the competition, so I wasn't planning on sailing much. I went to birds Island to the Worlds Wind Windsurfing shop to get a pair of sleepers, that place is really cool. Just going there was worth the  45 minutes drive. It was still windy on Tuesday So I went out again on 5.8 Gaastra with the Isonic 87 at the race site ( Oleander Point).

Wednesday - The first day of competition started reasonably windy 15 - 20 miles per hour. The race
officer decided to go strait into Slalom. They used the double elimination system. and the course was four jibe downwind. I made it to the final without to much trouble.
I had a good start on the first final. A bunch of us made it to the first jibe mark at the same time. The wind dropped really light and everybody got stuck. Phillip Soltysiak was the first one to plane out of the pack. I was second after him. I Battle it out with Tyson Poor, but after trading positions a few times I managed to finish second behind Phillip. Straight after the first round of Slalom we started the second one. I had some good heats with clean starts and good race with Olivie Jallais. I didn't have such good start for the second final. It was a bit windier this time.  I was trying to keep my jibes clean and tidy. I had a good battle with Wyatt Miller. I finished 5th on the second final. I was pretty tired after the Slalom Racing so I was happy when the race officer called a day.

Thursday-  Started with light winds, so the race officer decided to start with course racing. I rigged up 12.5 Gaastra and it was strange to use such big sale after being on 5.8 only two days a go. I had a good start in the Formula fleet, the conditions were perfect for the 12.5.
I won that race with a good margin. I didn't have such a good start on the second race, I was behind Ron Kern but I had good speed upwind, managing to make my way back to the front. We started the third race, and I was doing fine until the second lap when I decided to go right for the upwind. Initially I had a good gust but later on I got stuck on a massive lull. Justin Aheam and Ron Kern overtook me. I finished 3rd on that race. The wind was really light at that point. So we had a break for lunch and the wind picked up in the afternoon , so the race officer decided to do Long Distance Race. I hadn't done one of those in a while, the course was very simple. It was one reach out and one reach back. The wind close to shore was not very strong so I decided to take the 9.2 Severne and Isonic 134. I went out early to check the course. You could not see the jibe mark which was 5 miles away. I asked the race committee boat which way was the mark they pointed toward a bridge in the distance. At list I had a land mark to aim for. I had a good start and was chasing up Enez right from the beginning. I didn't have quite enough speed to overtake him but at list I could keep up with him. After a while we could see the jibe mark with the boat right next to it. I had a clean jibe about 30 yards behind Enez in second place. The reach on the way back was slightly closer to the wind then on the way out. Enez was slightly downwind of me and I could see the finish line close to the shore so I went straight for it. I though at one point I had a chance to overtake Enez as he was a bit further downwind but in the end he managed to sail closer to the wind without loosing to much speed so he finished just in front of me. At that point the wind started to die down so the race officer decided to call it a day. I was glad to get some rest!

Friday - The wind picked up suddenly at around mid day. The forecast was for the wind to keep picking up. so I rigged up the 10.0 Severn on Formula 177. The first race was reasonably windy and I was well powered up. Unfortunately I sailed the wrong course so I had to retire at the end. The wind didn't pick up as expected. In fact it dropped a bit lighter. I still managed to get off the start line ok and I had a clean race to finish first just in front of Ron Kern . At that point the wind dropped completely so the race officer sent us to shore. Shortly after the end of racing was announced for the day.
Saturday, the last day started with light winds but there was a storm approaching so we didn't know what to expect, either light or strong winds. I rigged up a big range of sails from 12.5 all the way down to 7.1 plus all the boards  were ready to go. We waited for a while during the afternoon it became obvious that there was not enough time for racing then the race officer announced the end of racing for the day and event.
In the end I was very happy to win the Formula fleet, finish 2nd on Long Distance and 3rd on Slalom. 
The prize giving ceremony was at the Executive Surf Club, that place was pretty awesome with a giant windsurfer coming out of the wall, live music , good food, good vibes and a wetsuit from the 80's on display. What a place! The Ceremony was pretty cool with almost everyone in attendance. Many thanks to Olivier Jallais, Monika Caldwell, Corpus Christi Yacht Club, all the volunteers and US Windsurfing who made this event a great event!
Last but not list.. a big thanks to my caddies (wifie and sister in-law) for the hands on support.


Even the girls said they would drive down again!! You rock ladies!!!